Courtesy of Simon G. Jewelry
by Lauren Frankfort, Brides
Your wedding ring shouldn't play second fiddle to your engagement ring, despite the fact that it almost always gets purchased last. From upgrading your ring with more bling to tailoring a family heirloom to suit your contemporary style, there's a lot to consider when shopping for this very significant piece of jewelry. We asked Simon G. brand ambassador and wedding ring expert Ashley Bowen for tips on what every bride should know about her left hand band-including how to make a smart wedding ring purchase. Here's what she had to say:
Brides: How much should a bride spend on her wedding ring?
Ashley Bowen: A wedding ring tends to run from $500-$4000 with the average being around $1,500. The cost is less of a shock after the initial purchase of the engagement ring.
See More: 64 Engagement Rings Under $5000
Brides: Does a wedding ring have to match a bride's engagement ring?
AB: If a bride plans to wear both rings on the same finger, than she should match the pieces so they look like they belong together. But, many brides choose to wear the wedding band and engagement ring on separate hands; if this is the case, then the rings don't necessarily need to match.
Brides: Is it appropriate to upgrade your wedding ring a few years later?
AB: It's always appropriate to make a change if the ring no longer fits your style. Although, the wedding ring typically isn't the one that's upgraded, it's usually the engagement ring. Women will re-set the center stone into a larger ring or upgrade the size of their diamond.
See More: 2013 Wedding Dress Trends
Brides: If an engagement ring was passed down to a bride, how can she personalize her wedding ring?
AB: In this day and age, if the ring was passed down, it's probably in yellow gold. A great way to make it your own is by rhodium plating the ring. This puts a layer of white metal over the yellow. It needs to be re-done at least once a year to stay white, but it transforms a ring and is a safe process (the cost ranges from $30-$100). This may also be a good opportunity to customize the bride's preference into a wedding ring that can be worn alone.
Brides: How much input should a bride have in her husband's ring? Does his ring have to match hers?
AB: Brides should expect to give some input on the wedding ring, but you also want to make sure he feels like he has options. Just like he bought the engagement ring with the bride in mind because she will be wearing it forever, he'll be doing the same for himself. Plus, there are a ton of styles out there now-a-days for men, so there's always something that the bride and the groom can agree on. As for matching rings, they were more popular 30 years ago than they are today. Sticking with the same metal color tends to be as "matchy" as most couples get. Of course, there are always options for matching the patterns as well.